New Zealand is a country full of Kiwis; Kiwis from all over the Americas, Africa, Europe, Oceania and Asia.
Our diversity is what makes our country so great to live in. Ensuring the many migrants that call Tauranga home feel welcomed, settled and recognised in our community is Multicultural Tauranga.
The non-profit organisation aims to promote cultural diversity and harmony, helping migrants feel at home in Tauranga through settlement support services, language classes, newcomer coffee mornings, a migrant expo, multicultural events and more.
Multicultural Tauranga’s signature event, the Multicultural Festival, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year; bringing together the community to showcase the sights, sounds, tastes and traditions of our many home nations.
The festival was full of culinary delights and colourful costumes, representing twenty ethnic groups that reside in the Western Bay. With biltong from South Africa, baked cheesecake from Poland, fragrant curry from India and custard covered doughnuts from Italy, festival goers took a taste bud tour across the globe. Performances of traditional song and dance had toes tapping and voices humming along throughout the day, whilst stalls provided information for newcomers and locals alike about the many services available to them in the community.
With 1 in 5 people in Tauranga born overseas, the services of Multicultural Tauranga are vital to ensuring everyone, no matter their background or language, can thrive in our community.
Most of the services offered at the Tauranga Multicultural Centre are free, including a weekly walk-in Justice of the Peace service desk and personal counselling. Regular social events are also organised such as the Newcomers Network meetings and Living in Harmony evenings, which are open to both newcomers and long-time locals alike to share and connect over customs and cultures.
Ann Kerewaro, president of Multicultural Tauranga says that the services they offer not only help newcomers settle and adjust to the Kiwi lifestyle, but also provide an outlet to embrace, share and promote the cultural traditions they bring from their homeland.
“It’s valuable for us all—our community keeps growing with people, and with that our diversity, understanding and knowledge grows too.”
TECT has supported Multicultural Tauranga since 2013, this year providing a grant of $24K towards their day-to-day operations and the annual Migrant Expo.
Jim Datson, General Manager of Multicultural Tauranga, says that without TECT’s support, Multicultural Tauranga wouldn’t be running today.
“We are so grateful for TECT’s support. As a volunteer-based organisation, it has made all the difference in being able to provide an easy-to-access support system for migrants.”
To learn more about the services Multicultural Tauranga provide, and to find out about upcoming events, visit http://www.trmc.co.nz/